Last year: 8th on ladder, (2 wins, 5 losses)
4 re-signed, 8 added, 4 lost, 10 not signed
Doug Bollinger (possibly Warner, Gayle and Fidel Edwards)
Possible limited availability
Warner – if re-signed.
When the 5pm deadline arrived the Thunder had only announced 12 signings. An hour or so later they announced that they’ve got some in the works and have been given an extension to get them finalised. I hope for their sakes that Warner and Gayle are those that are “in the works”.
They’ve picked up Dirk Nannes from the Renegades, and Mark Cosgrove and Rhett Lockyear from the Hurricanes, but none of them are massive signings. Nannes isn’t necessarily the wicket taking machine of a couple of years ago, and I suspect the only reason Cosgrove and Lockyear have moved is because there’s no room for them at the Hurricanes. Ryan Carters from the Renegades replaces both Ben Dunk and Daniel Smith behind the stumps. And the Thunder are yet to announce any international signings.
Last year when the Thunder jumped out of the gate with the first two signings, Warner and Gayle, many figured this took a fair chunk of the $1m budget, and they were probably right. Unfortunately, for the Thunder, Warner received a baggy green, and was only available for the first game of the season. He scored a rapid fire 100, and they won. They then won their second game, this time it was largely thanks to a Chris Gayle 100. After this they didn’t win another game. Following the wooden spoon performance of the first season, its not really a surprise that they’ve made numerous changes, but are the changes they’ve made going to make them any more competitive than last year? On paper, I’d say, if anything, they are weaker.
D If they get Warner and Gayle back it might makes things a C+ at best. Given the number of top quality players NSW has been producing for years you wouldn’t think it would be hard to fill up two teams. Apparently it is.